Illustration

Pull off the road in a cloud of sand particles, rolling gravel under tread and dry rubber sliding that sound of the dirt, gravel and rubber just easing the heavy truck to a stop on a desolate road near Chaco. The Earth axis is just at the summer point, catching the full intensity of light. Heat. This is just where the driver of the truck decides its time to pray, kneeling into the hot coarse dirt, clasping hands, clenching eyes, in a last ditch effort at communication with a god. The driver left the static low frequency radio playing old songs usually of simple flattery and love. The radio played until night and all the while until the battery in that beat up truck died. The driver is alone at night in quiet but stirring night, praying still for the dead to make things right as if we were petroglyphs suspended in animation until light pierces us alive.

A driven beast of burden in clouds of winged pests, tamed to the calls of its driver, on trails now many days took a bit of weed into its mouth and drinks water with its tongue. The driver beats dust out of a sack which had contained a few nuts and meat with just enough whisky to keep the driver thirsty. There, a prayer was said for the present meals.

The Chaco canyon cooled in the night as guns loaded for a steal, slipped under a vinyl bench seat, slid just out of easy reach of the driver. The old romantic highway was too poor for easy asking and the driver resorted to this sort of violence to steal anything left, from the Indians and massacres who beat these trails into being, from the last asphalt truck driver stopped at the last place to eat before the road turned to gravel.

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